Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Challenge to Myself

So, I've been running for about 16 months now. I've done a 5K, a 10K, an overnight relay race, and a half marathon. I have the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler next weekend and the Maryland Half Marathon in May. Yeah, there are lots of things on which I could work with all of these distances, but there is one goal I have always wanted to reach: the marathon.

When I was 10-years old, my mom gave me this novel she bought at a yard sale entitled The Girl Who Wanted to Run the Boston Marathon. It was kind of low-key teen-lit. They've since changed the name and republished it. When I was 10, that was my goal, too. Then middle school and high school hit. I didn't run at all after 9th grade. I wish I had kept it up and done cross country in high school instead of dance, but hindsight is 20/20.

When I was in grad school, I thought I would try to run a marathon, but I didn't even know how to get started running. Then I met my now-husband and focused more on school and him than my athletic goals. I don't regret it. I have a wonderful husband and two adorable, but crazy, sons.

Cut to a couple of months ago... I decided I wanted to do the Marine Corps Marathon 10K again. It was a great race and I truly enjoyed all of the people along the course cheering. There is something humbling about running in honor of our service personnel. My brother was in the Navy until last year, and I'm incredibly proud of him. A friend of mine and I were joking around about maybe doing a full marathon this coming year. I'm turning *gulp* 35 in July and it just seemed like a good idea as a goal for the year to run the Marine Corps Marathon in honor of my brother, my Army veteran father, and all of my other friends and family who have been in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Yesterday, I spent 2 hours in front of my computer to register myself and two friends who weren't able to access a computer. It was incredibly annoying and frustrating. I swear the two most annoying words on a website are "Service Unavailable." FINALLY, I was able to register.

I know many people who weren't able to get into the race. There is a terrific list of charity partners for whom you can fundraise and earn a bib. I've actually been thinking about joining the Hope for the Warriors team without the full fundraising commitment.

Any tips for running my first marathon? Have you ever run for a charity?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Of injuries and unplanned rest

I've really cut back on my training. I only ran 10 miles two weeks ago and only 4 last week. I'm usually a super trainer. I follow a plan as closely as I can and I have been doing the intermediate one for the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler. Then, we had a weekend with 2 birthday parties and a sore back for me.

I don't know what I was doing that hurt my back. I had problems standing for more than 20 minutes and spent an entire evening on and off of an ice pack. So, my back was better and then my foot started hurting. I have no idea what went wrong there. I could barely walk, let alone run. I did the 4 miler last week, knowing full well that I shouldn't have. I treated it by extra stretching and rolling it on a water bottle that I had frozen. I think I must have had the beginnings of plantar fasciitis, but it feels much better now, so I haven't been as concerned.

This week, it has felt fine. I've be very careful to wear my most comfy running shoes and I have been wearing sneakers most of the time, even at home. I have a 10-miler scheduled for tomorrow. I guess I will see how that goes.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tic Tac Turkey Bacon

Last week, I made this creation for my kids' weekend breakfast.

A friend of mine who has a food blog posted a picture of a woven slab of bacon on Facebook and I decided I could build on that and make it more fun for my boys.

1. Take out 3 pieces of bacon per person and slice them in half. I am making 2 of the final product, so I need 6 pieces. I use turkey bacon. My sons don't really seem to know the difference, yet.

2. I line up 3 of the half-pieces like this on my Pampered Chef Large Bar Pan. I'm sure you can do this on a regular cookie sheet or in a skillet, you would need to really reduce the baking time, though.

3. Then I begin to weave the pieces to form a mat. 

4. Then I put my bar pan in a cold oven and turn it on at 400F. My oven takes 10 minutes to reach that temperature. Once it reaches 400, I bake for an additional 20 minutes. 

5. While it is baking, I prepare the toast Xs. After toasting a piece of wheat bread, I remove the crusts and cut it into 12 squares. I then cut each of these squares into an X shape. My kids will eat the crusts and pieces, but you could easily food process the pieces for breadcrumbs.

Depending on the size of your piece of bread, you need 4-5 Xs per serving. I'm sure you could do this with cheese, if you don't eat bread. 

6. I then cut grape tomatoes into 4 slices. You need 4-5 slices per serving and I don't usually use the end pieces on the final product, but my 4-year old will eat them on the side.

7. I serve it on a slab of toast. 

8. I put the cooked bacon slab on top of the toast.

9. I then add the toast Xs and the tomato Os.

Yes, I know their plates are orange and blue. My Florida Gators have their last regular season basketball game at Kentucky this afternoon. Go Gators!

10. Serve to some very happy children with fruit.

Trapped Under a Former Milk Dud

Last night, I went to bed at 10 with plans to meet a friend for a 6-mile run this morning. My back has been bothering me and I wanted someone to look at my running form to see if I was doing something wrong. I feel like I've been hunching or something. It's worse after days when I run, so as I head into the meat and potatoes of my training for the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler and the Maryland Half Marathon, I don't want to be in pain for days after I'm done.

At 1:45am, my door was slammed open. Milk Dud wanted to sleep in my bed. Sigh. Every time I would move, he would freak out and grab for me. At one point, he had both arms around my head. Finally, at about 4, he settled on my chest. Yeah, great for my back. OUCH! I haven't been physically trapped under him at night in a long time. My alarm was set for 6am. He started crying when I went to the bathroom. He didn't want anything to do with his daddy. He's such a mommy's boy. 

So, no running for me with my friend this morning. I guess I will have to have someone at the gym look at my running form and find some time to make up the missed miles. The joys of being loved ;)

Also, since I'm mentioning the race, please help me raise money for the University of Maryland Medical Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center! My goal is only $100 and I'm almost there!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Attack of the workout wear!

Chafing. Unless you are a size 00, you have probably experienced chafing. Heck, even if you are a 00, you might have some issues with it on your feet.

I've learned to cope with it by putting Body Glide in the areas I usually have problems. I try to avoid cotton because it holds in moisture. I wore a cotton shirt for my first half marathon in December on a foggy, wet day and I totally wished I hadn't come mile 7. The brace I wore for my IT band injury would rub my thigh raw from the Velcro and putting glide on it just made it slip down.

Wednesday, I went for a rare weekday outdoor morning run. It was drizzling when I started and just very wet. To psych myself up for it, I wore my BornFit running shirt I got as a premium for running the Annapolis Half. I love that shirt. It's soft and light. Also, I'm just proud of myself for earning the darn thing ;) Well, the run itself was sucky. It was the beginning of my cold, so I was slow and just didn't feel like running the 6 I was planning, so I did 5.

I got home and I had a lovely inch-long raw spot on my upper chest from the zipper on my top. My favorite shirt attacked me! I've run in this shirt before without incident. I've worn similarly-styled shirts without a problem, either. Heck, I wear necklaces that hit at that location and have never had so much as a dot of rawness.

Was it because my shirt didn't want to go running? Was my shirt upset that I woke it up at 5:30am? Did it not want to be out in the rain? Why would my favorite shirt attack me?!

I guess next time, I need to zip it all of the way up or put some glide on in that location before I run. :(